From: General Service Administration; The National Archives, Washington, D.C.
A report made by Miss Margareth Jorgensen of the Division of Natural Resources Records Division under Karl L. Trevor, Archivist-in-charge, Interior and Public Works division (July 6, 1949).
INQUIRY: Information concerning, “Protestant Cay, Kay, Key and Quay” in Christiansted Harbor, also called “Loot’s Kay.”
The term “Cay” appears to be the same as that used today for small islands in the Caribbean region. The “Keys” off the Florida coast illustrate another use of that term. “Kay” may merely be a not unusual substitution of K for C in Cay, but it may also represent the use of the Danish word referring to a wharf or a quay providing means for loading and unloading vessels. The use of the name Protestant Kay may have originated while St. Croix was still owned by the French, for about 1685 and later there occurred an exodus from France of a considerable number of people of the Protestant faith, commonly referred to as Huguenots. “Instructions” issued by the Government of the Danish Virgin Islands indicate that Huguenots reached those islands, and such exiles may well have stayed on the island in the St. Croix harbor long enough to have the name “Protestant Cay” applied to it, although under the terms of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, their permanent residences in St. Croix would not have been permitted.
The name “Loot’s” appears to have originated from the Danish word “Lods” meaning pilot. The spelling may have been affected by the Danish language as spoken in the islands during the 18th C. After the Danish Government had acquired St. Croix from France by a treaty signed in 1733, settlers of other nationalities included a number of Dutch people, such as the Heiliger family from St. Eustatius and Frederick (sp) Moth, the first Governor of St. Croix under Danish rule. The Moravian missionaries, who taught the slaves of the island to read and write a Dutch Creole language also tended to add Dutch spelling to the titles, terms and idioms used in the Dutch Virgin Islands.
From St. Croix Avis, 2 August 1884
It is extremely probable that our old church is the oldest of all buildings existing in St. Croix. That this island before it became Danish, was in possession of the French, and that the French colony was broken up in 1695, everybody knows. This French colony had a town on the site of Christiansted, only much smaller: our Saturday market was their burial ground, well to be observed, for the Romish inhabitants. But the Romish church was too intolerant to allow Protestants to be buried there or anywhere on the island, wherefore all corpses of Protestants had to be removed from the place, and were carried to the small rocky key in the harbor, which up to now keeps the name which it derived from the use that was made of it then, and is called Protestant Key…
From an address delivered by Rev. E.V. Løse, Lutheran pastor in Christiansted, on 25 July 1884.